2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Friday
FRIDAY TYRE SUMMARY
- Red Bull drivers were fastest in both hour-long free practice sessions today, with Max Verstappen topping FP1 and Sergio Perez going even faster in FP2: on each occasion using the softest tyre in Pirelli’s Formula 1 range. This comes to Baku for the very first time as the P Zero Red soft (C5) this weekend.
- Perez’s best FP2 time (1m42.115s) was more than half a second quicker than the best FP2 time in 2019, when the race was last run. On that occasion, the tyre nomination was a step harder.
- With the Azerbaijan Grand Prix held more than a month later compared to 2019 the weather was extremely warm all day, with ambient temperatures of around 30 degrees and track temperatures that peaked at 50 degrees in the afternoon (16 degrees more than FP2 in 2019).
- The teams concentrated mainly on the P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Red soft, with more limited running on the P Zero White hard.
- From the estimated simulation data, the performance gap between the hard and medium tyre is approximately 0.6 seconds per lap, while the gap between medium and soft is around 0.8 seconds per lap
FORMULA 2: LATEST NEWS
Liam Lawson led a one-two from Hitech Grand Prix in qualifying, following free practice in the morning (where his team mate Juri Vips was fastest). All the drivers used the P Zero Purple supersoft tyre in qualifying: the fastest and most grippy compound in the range, which is well-suited to the slippery Baku street circuit. Former F3 champion Robert Schwartzman qualified 10th for Prema, which means that he will start tomorrow’s first race from pole. As expected, there was quite a big performance gap to the P Zero Yellow medium – nominated for the first time this year – which should make for some interesting race strategies. With some long straights at Baku, some drivers tried to benefit from a ‘tow’ in qualifying: following another driver closely in order to exploit the hole in the air made by the car in front.
MARIO ISOLA – HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“As expected, we had a slippery surface at the start of the day, with quite rapid track evolution. It was a hot day in Baku with asphalt temperatures in excess of 50 degrees centigrade, but that doesn’t tell the full story as there’s so much light and shade on this city circuit that the track temperature in reality can be very varied, leading to changeable grip levels. Getting used to that, as well as balancing the grip between the front and rear axles and working out which compound – soft or medium – will be the optimal choice to start the race with were the main jobs today, throughout a demanding free practice that was also influenced by both yellow and red flags. This isn’t an easy track to get to grips with and the surface is still evolving, so there is plenty for the teams to analyse before qualifying, with just a bit of graining seen on the softer compounds in these high temperatures so far. As it’s the first time that we’re here with the very softest tyres in the range the performance gaps are very much an estimate, but all three compounds are set to play a strong role.”
|TOP 3 TIMES|
|Verstappen||1m43.184s||SOFT C5 NEW|
|Leclerc||1m43.227s||SOFT C5 NEW|
|Sainz||1m43.521s||SOFT C5 NEW|
|Perez||1m42.115s||SOFT C5 NEW|
|Verstappen||1m42.216s||SOFT C5 NEW|
|Sainz||1m42.243s||SOFT C5 NEW|
|BEST TIME BY COMPOUND|
|MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR|
|TYRE STATISTICS OF THE DAY|
|Sets used overall**||8||33||39|
* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.
|MIN. STARTING PRESSURES (slicks)||EOS CAMBER LIMIT|
|20.0 psi (front) | 19.0 psi (rear)||-3.50° (front) | -2.00° (rear)|